House Democrats are out-fundraising their Republican counterparts, according to a study released by the Campaign Finance Institute, a GW-affiliated political think tank.
Michael Malbin, director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a bipartisan group, said the study found that fundraising by incumbent Democrats has far outpaced that of the Republicans running in the November 2010 Congressional elections. Malbin also said, however, Republicans still have a chance to win big.
“The numbers will show the incumbents to be way out ahead of the challengers in the financial horse race,” the report said.
But the Washington Post, which wrote a story over the weekend that cited the study and said Democratic lawmakers were out-fundraising Republicans for the first time in seven election cycles, focused too much on campaign finances in predicting election results, Malbin said.
“The information is there, sort of,” Malbin said. “Incumbents are not going to have a problem raising money. That’s almost period, end of story. That’s not what determines elections.”
Forrest Maltzman, chair of the department of political science, said the CFI is a well-respected, GW-affiliated institution that has brought a number of opportunities for GW students.
“They have brought publicity to the campus as a highly respected bipartisan organization,” Maltzman said. “They have also employed graduate students from GW on several different occasions.”
Sophomore Conor Rogers, who runs his own political blog, The Politicizer, said the study would be of interest to GW’s politically active campus.
“I think it’s great that the GW-affiliated institute is doing this study,” Rogers said in an e-mail. “I think it reflects the fact that GW students are traditionally the most politically-active in the country.”
Rogers weighed in on the numbers released by the study.
“The conservative money is still there, it’s just going to different groups and candidates rather than the Republican National Committee directly, so I think the net-effect on the midterm elections won’t be too great,” he said. “But the Democrats might be able to be more organized with a well-funded Democratic National Convention.”